Our liberal betters begin to feel aggrieved by the Left

Lanny Davis on his discovery that the Left is really, really mean:

This kind of scary hatred, my dad used to tell me, comes only from the right wing — in his day from people such as the late Sen. Joseph McCarthy, with his tirades against “communists and their fellow travelers.” The word “McCarthyism” became a red flag for liberals, signifying the far right’s fascistic tactics of labeling anyone a “communist” or “socialist” who favored an active federal government to help the middle class and the poor, and to level the playing field.

I came to believe that we liberals couldn’t possibly be so intolerant and hateful, because our ideology was famous for ACLU-type commitments to free speech, dissent and, especially, tolerance for those who differed with us. And in recent years — with the deadly combination of sanctimony and vitriol displayed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Michael Savage — I held on to the view that the left was inherently more tolerant and less hateful than the right.

Now, in the closing days of the Lieberman primary campaign, I have reluctantly concluded that I was wrong. The far right does not have a monopoly on bigotry and hatred and sanctimony.

Davis’s sentiments are notable, less because he has discovered the way the Left views its opponents, but for what they reveal about him. Notice that he felt, and still apparently feels, very superior to people of a conservative orientation. This is quite telling. Ann Coulter is deliberately provocative, and Michael Savage continues to be the third rail of conservative talk radio, but Mr. Limbaugh is nothing if not an utterly mainstream GOP conservative, with an informed and educated audience. He’s kind of a middle America Republican everyman — and Davis is still caught in the old “racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe” mindset. Talk about out of touch with what’s been going on in electoral politics over the last dozen years!

Perhaps Mr. Davis still has more in common with those on the Left who currently upset him than he cares to acknowledge still.

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